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Topic: Random thoughts (Read 790 times)
July 08, 2010, 07:28:54 AM »
I was visiting someone a couple days ago and got a chance to look at a couple games. One of them was Tomb Raider, Underworld.
The graphics looked great, I thought, although when I borrowed it for a little while, it didn't run all that well on my system and it's an older game, but I am using a pretty old video card. Looked good, though, aside from some freeze framing until I turned a few things off. But somehow, the game just wasn't interesting enough. It did have some adventure elements and comes closer than most action games to being adventury. The trouble was I'm just not interested enough in the mechanics of it anymore. It seemed like more trouble than anything looking for hidden ledges and making jumps while turning just right, etc. I used to be able to do that and enjoy it, now it just doesn't work for me. The modeling looked really great, though, and it was fun looking at the caverns, etc. If it was more of an adventure that centered on exploring for objects and working puzzles, I would have liked it.
The other game was Braid. It was a platformer with really well designed puzzles, something I've kind of wanted to try to do myself but never got around to it. It really improved the platformer genre. In this case, I found the quirky action elements of jumping on heads to be all right, although in a few jig saw puzzles it seemed so silly compared to using a mouse to maneuver pieces. I guess because things were more obvious as far as ledges, etc, it made the action seem more enjoyable and complemented the puzzles. I didn't play it that long, though because I couldn't borrow the game.
So, all in all, it was one game where I thought the action/mechanics elements detracted, and one where they seemed to complement the puzzles. The other thing was that, one had very realistic 3d environments, while the other was well done 2d graphics, and each was enjoyable in it's own way. Graphics just have to look pretty good. In the end, it's the game play that makes or breaks.
There's a balance where you can feel overwhelmed when it comes to puzzles because too much information or area is being given, I think. That's why I enjoyed Braid a little more, also. Tomb Raider came close, but looking for places to jump that I may or may not be able to reach in large 3d environments seemed like too much. I think it follows in adventures. You need some red herrings, some extra background information that's not directly involved in a puzzle, and some extra rooms to go to, but once that becomes overwhelming, it's not fun anymore, it's just work. Yet, if it's just puzzle related hot spots and the areas are too confining, it feels too steered.
Re: Random thoughts
Reply #1 on:
July 08, 2010, 08:04:09 AM »
Funny you should mention Tomb Raider: Underworld - I bought and finished the Wii version a few weeks ago, and it was the first Tomb Raider game I've tried. I'm sure there are some fairly big differences between the Wii and PC versions, but don't doubt that the core game remains somewhat similar.
I agree that at some places it was quite frustrating trying to find the right ledge to jump to, but other than these places I quite enjoyed the game. Most of the puzzles were quite simple but there were a few that really, really impressed me. For me it was a quite nice cross between something like Zelda: Twilight Princess and Prince of Persia: Rival Swords (two of the other Wii games I've played through and enjoyed) with less combat.
I hear what you say about the modeling - the graphics were really nice and made it fun to explore around the levels. I have to say though, I found the last two levels were quite sloppy and disappointing compared with the rest of the game, but nevermind.
As for Braid, I've only played a little of it but enjoyed what I did play. It is quite a clever game from what I could see, and nice and fresh - although these days there seems to be a ton of platform puzzle adventures. I wrote out a design, rough plot and developed a graphic style for one such game once; perhaps one day I'll go back and see about making it a reality.
Finding the line between too linear and too esoteric in terms of gameplay is a big thing, I think. I've made some pretty linear games in the past and people have commented about this. It's a hard thing to balance at times while still keeping players interested.
Still, I guess we'll all keep messing around with different ideas in hopes of finding the perfect balance.
Re: Random thoughts
Reply #2 on:
July 08, 2010, 08:38:30 AM »
I've made some pretty linear games in the past and people have commented about this. It's a hard thing to balance at times while still keeping players interested.
It really is. I think it's a little better to be on the linear side on an adventure because you are going to lose more people by just throwing their hands up and quitting if you go too far to the other side. The other people might complain it's too easy or something but will probably still play it. One of your games that I enjoyed the most, though I can't remember the name, was this kind of firebug or something that flew around. You know which one, I'm sure. Anyway, it was quite linear, yet, I was engrossed in what was going on. What was this thing? and it had a very satisfying story and ending. I think a lot of people become obsessed with non-linearity and miss the whole point.
Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 08:48:50 AM by ad7venture
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